NCAAF Week 11 Early Value Picks: Expect Blowout Wins From Duke and Alabama

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Top sportsbooks have released their NCAAF odds for this week’s college football action. Two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in:

For reasons that I will explain, you should play the spread for both games at an online sports betting site.

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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Duke Blue Devils

Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Wallace Wade Stadium

Did Virginia Tech's Offense Improve?

Virginia Tech might seem worth investing in because they scored 27 points in their last game against Georgia Tech.

If the Hokies' offense has improved, then this would signify a monumental change relative to their earlier-season difficulty with scoring points.

Even accounting for last week's 27-point output, the Hokies rank 109th nationally in points per game. But if their offense turned a corner, then one should ignore their season-long statistic.

Improvement on offense would make it much easier for them to cover the spread while oddsmakers seem inclined to disrespect their team by favoring Duke this heavily.

The Georgia Tech Game 

Pertaining to its win over Georgia Tech, the first thing to note is that Virginia Tech's scoring output is misleading.

Their scoring output gives a false impression of their offensive capabilities because it suggests an ability, to sustain successful drives on offense, that does not actually exist. To be exact, the Hokies relied on good field position for two of their offensive touchdowns.

They were able to score off those two drives while accruing 50 yards or fewer. Moreover, two of Virginia Tech's touchdowns were not accomplished by the offense. They achieved a pick-six and a punt return touchdown. So, Virginia Tech is still the same squad that struggles to score on offense.

These struggles ultimately afford Duke a significant margin of error in its endeavor to cover the spread, the Blue Devils will have less to do on offense in order to cover.

Grant Wells' Problems 

Virginia Tech has a significant issue at the quarterback position. Grant Wells was supposed to help Virginia Tech threaten with downfield passing plays.

He certainly has the arm strength to post this threat. But, to this end, he relies too heavily on a single wide receiver, Kaleb Smith.

Smith has more than three times as many receiving yards as any other Hokie pass-catcher. Given Wells' lack of options, his best option is to hit Smith for a home run. There just aren't a lot of other ways in which Wells can help his team, because Wells' skill set is limited.

While he has a strong arm, he also has problems with decision-making and accuracy. These additional problems help explain why he's failing to convert 60% of his passes and to throw more touchdowns than interceptions.

Lack of Support 

Wells' lack of ability to help his offense provides proof that he isn't good enough to carry a bad team.

The Hokie offense is bad in that it fails to help Wells. Virginia Tech's offensive line has struggled throughout the season.

Opponents easily succeed against the Hokie pass protection unit by employing stunts and other tactics.

Given the Hokies' struggles with pass protection, Virginia Tech ranks 99th nationally at limiting the opponent's sack rate.

Reliant on Running the Ball 

All of this is to say that Virginia Tech, in order to score enough points in a given game, cannot rely on its pass attack.

The Hokies' talent is concentrated most clearly in its group of running backs, although starter Malachi Thomas didn't play last week and is listed as 'questionable' with an ankle injury.

In the Hokies' best offensive performances, they could rely especially on Thomas. He achieved 84 rushing yards, for example, as part of his offense's 29-point output against Pitt.

Duke's Run Defense 

Match-up-wise, Duke promises to thrive on Saturday because of its ability to stop the run. The Blue Devils rank 16th nationally at limiting the opponent's rushing yards per game.

They are also well-tested, having locked down North Carolina's group of running backs, although North Carolina has one of the ACC's better rush attacks, as measured by rushing yards per game.

Virginia Tech will rely heavily on its running backs to help Wells, but Duke is the wrong defense to expect this sort of help against.

Hokies' Defense 

Virginia Tech's worst defensive efforts came when they couldn't stop the run. Pitt, for example, scored 45 points off the Hokies while its top running back amassed over 300 rushing yards.

Besides struggling against the ACC's top rush attacks, the Hokies struggle to limit mobile quarterbacks. They allowed, for example, Tar Heel quarterback Drake Maye to have one of his most productive rushing performances of the season

This success is something that Duke's quarterback Riley Leonard can replicate as our NCAAF pick. Leonard has run for over 60 yards in each of his team's last three games.

NCAAF Pick: Duke -10 (-110) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Ole Miss Rebels

Saturday, November 12, 2022 - 03:30 PM EST at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium

Coming off a Loss 

Alabama is in a great betting spot because it is coming off a loss. The Crimson Tide reliably bounce back in such a situation.

Earlier this season, for example, they beat Mississippi State by 24 points after losing to Tennessee.

Every time Nick Saban's team loses, one can expect his team to win the next game in blowout fashion.

Reliance on Running the Ball 

Ole Miss' offense is problematic for its reliance on running the ball. In terms of rush-play percentage, the Rebels are more reliant on running it than every other team in the nation besides six.

This reliance is partly motivated by quarterback Jaxson Dart's pass accuracy and interceptions issue. His pass completion percentage is only above 60 percent because of his performances against lowly Vanderbilt and Central Arkansas.

Ole Miss' need to run the ball well will be costly because Alabama owns the nation's 10th-best rush defense.

Alabama will accomplish a two-dimensional offensive attack with its perpetual Heisman candidates at quarterback and running back whereas Ole Miss will be focused on running into Alabama's brick walls.

NCAAF Pick: Alabama -11.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.